Miscarriages myths and facts: Is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage?
There’s a story about a woman in Nsukka who miscarried her baby. It was supposed to be her seventh child. Her husband called a midwife to attend to her at home because midwives were the in-thing then. Unfortunately for this woman, she began to bleed heavily. Everyone stood around and blamed her for being careless and for even getting pregnant at that age after six children. No one thought it necessary to take her to a hospital.
The story goes that passers-by stood around and watched as buckets and buckets of blood were carted away from the room where she lay sick and bleeding. When the midwife knew that the bleeding was getting out of hand, she asked the husband to take his wife to the hospital. He refused, claiming he didn’t have enough money. He also claimed that his wife had delivered some of their children alone at home before, so what was the emergency? By the time he saw the need to take her to the hospital, the woman had already bled to death. At her burial, the umuada—the other married women in the village—refused to eat because they blamed the husband for their mate’s death.
In this tragic story, the question is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage was no longer important because the mother had already died.
Why does a miscarriage carry such a stigma when it is just as a medical condition like any other? Most of the time, a miscarriage isn’t the fault of the mother.
Here are some myths and facts about miscarriages.
Myth: A Miscarriage is an attack from evil spirits: once a woman has a miscarriage, she is accused of either being a witch or having a spiritual husband to whom she sends her babies to. In the case of the deceased in the story, the issue of a spiritual husband was absent because she had other living children. So, possibly, she had just joined the witches and had sacrificed her unborn child as an acceptance fee. Or her enemies could have cast malicious spells against her.
Fact: older women are at risk of having miscarriages: the older a woman gets, the more her chances of miscarriage. Therefore, miscarriages are a risk for advanced maternal age women.
Myth: ogbanje children bring bad luck and cause miscarriages: when a woman has consecutive miscarriages, she is accused of having very kind ogbanje children. Ogbanje children are children who are believed to be bad spirits who come to torture their mothers with the joy of childbirth only to die as infants. Ogbanje children never reach adulthood. So, when a woman has consecutive miscarriages, the belief is that the ogbanje children are kind enough not to allow her to suffer in vain and suffer labour pains for nothing.
Fact: having long intervals between miscarriages: The Mayo Clinic advises that when a woman has a baby, she should allow her body to recover before having another baby. This is also applicable to women who have had a miscarriage. The fact that you had a miscarriage doesn’t mean you will never carry a baby to term, so don’t rush it! This is true in case you want to know is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage.
Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t move a lot: It is common knowledge that stress—be it physical or emotional—can cause a miscarriage or preterm labor. So, a pregnant woman should not go close to the gym or engage in any form of exercise.
Fact: yes, stress can cause a miscarriage because of the risk of high blood pressure, which is admittedly life-threatening for both mother and child. But it is only excessive stress that can cause this level of damage. Everyday physical exertion will usually not lead to a miscarriage, neither can exercise.
In fact, pregnant women are advised to exercise regularly after getting the all-clear from their doctor. During pregnancy, a lot goes on in the body. So, if you like to visit the gym, seek advice from your doctor before you exercise when pregnant.
Myth: be silent about a miscarriage: in remote parts of the country, a miscarriage is treated as a taboo. You are asked not to speak out to avoid being mocked.
Fact: It is actually very helpful to share your experience of miscarriage. Not only will you be giving hope to someone else, but you also will not have to grieve the loss of your child alone. Talking is a form of therapy. It always helps to share your pain.
And if the miscarriage happened at home, it is important to report to a hospital. They will also run some tests on you to find out if there is a medical condition behind the miscarriage that can cause subsequent ones. For all you know, it might be a serious health condition like preeclampsia. if you're worried about is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage, you can rest assured that a healthy pregnancy is still possible.
Myth: do not cry over spilled milk: women are not allowed to grieve over miscarried children because it is a sign from God that the baby would have lived a short life. So instead of dying at his prime, let the child spare his mother the torture of childbirth and infant mortality.
Fact: A miscarriage is a medical condition, and it is okay to cry. Hopefully, the mother will have the support of loved ones who will band together to help and encourage her.
If you’re still wondering if it is easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage, then you should know that all hope isn’t lost. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that it is rare for women to have second miscarriages. Only 1% of women go on to have second and third miscarriages. Many women go on to carry pregnancies to term. So, is it easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage? The answer is a resounding yes!
Resource: Mayo Clinic